bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Definition of barber

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one whose business is cutting and dressing hair, shaving and trimming beards, and performing related services


barbered; barbering\ ˈbär-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce barbering (audio) \

Definition of barber (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber for : trim or groom the hair or beard of

intransitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber


biographical name
Bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce Barber (audio) \

Definition of Barber (Entry 3 of 3)

Samuel 1910–1981 American composer

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Examples of barber in a Sentence

Noun He goes to a barber downtown. went to the barber to get his hair cut and his beard trimmed
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Economic distress, population flight and the loss of local sports teams, lunch joints and barber shops have hollowed out communities that were long solidly middle class. Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Factory closures may have helped fuel the opioid crisis. Here’s how," 3 Jan. 2020 Keener pointed out the North Little Rock Planning Commission had already approved, in November, the application for special use at the barber shop after applying a series of restrictions. Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Online, "North Little Rock cuts off barber's truck rentals," 25 Dec. 2019 The show begins before the play does, with the production’s dozen actors (all male) ushering theatergoers onto the stage to try out the movable fleet of barber’s chairs, pose for selfies and perhaps wriggle to the hip-hop music blasting the air. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ Offers an Exhilarating Sanctuary," 4 Dec. 2019 Back then, the newsroom was smoky, and there was a barbershop just off the newsroom floor, with a vintage barber chair. Greg Gilbert, The Seattle Times, "In 52 years at The Seattle Times, photographer Greg Gilbert has seen it all. But he wants to see more.," 31 July 2019 Some of the amenities that are offered at the Lutheran Home include a coffee shop, barber shop, weekly chapels, community rooms, a greenhouse, library and a therapy gym. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa's Lutheran Home expansion is set to open in January," 18 Dec. 2019 The Harris campaign had been focusing on voter contact with Black women in salons and with Black men in barber shops. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "What It's Like to Be a Presidential Campaign Field Organizer," 12 Dec. 2019 Produced by Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire and IzyBeats, the single has racked up 85 million views on YouTube, 40 million streams on Spotify, and countless plays in barber shops, restaurants, cabs, and parties all over the world. Dana Droppo, Billboard, "Koffee is the Future of Reggae," 10 Dec. 2019 Well, Bethlehem has nothing on Gideon, Wisconsin, a town so insignificant that the post office, barber shop and general store are one and the same. Matthew J. Palm,, "Mad Cow Theatre’s ‘Spitfire Grill’ sizzles with hope, charity and love | Review," 7 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roger Federer, while not infallible, can play when there is barbered grass underfoot. The Si Staff,, "Wimbledon 2018 Preview Roundtable: Predictions, Dark Horses, More," 29 June 2018 Ethos, Jacobs’ barbering biz featuring a traveling grooming station, was born. Elizabeth Wellington,, "A mobile barbershop experience that elevates the culture of the gentleman | Elizabeth Wellington," 21 June 2018 Missouri law requires a training course of 1,000 hours for barbering and 1,500 hours for hairdressing, followed by a licensing exam. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "African-style hair braiders lose appeal of Missouri licensing law," 11 Jan. 2018 The center offers auto and collision training in several garage bays, a welding shop, a dental lab, a cosmetology and barbering center, graphic arts and a culinary arts program. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "New Gary Career Center director touts plans to fill empty classrooms," 23 Dec. 2017 But barbering was hard on daddy’s feet, and mother was homesick. WSJ, "Wanda Jackson Helped Put the Growl in Rockabilly," 19 Dec. 2017 There are still all kinds of souvenirs and reminders of the two Italian barbers and their customers: postcards stuck into the mirrors, decades of shavers and other barbering gadgetry. Polly Campbell,, "A cut and a cappuccino on Garfield Place: Ferrari Barbershop and Coffee Co.," 12 Oct. 2017 Rosa had secured a job at the Stockton Sewing Company doing piecework and Raymond was barbering again. Jeanne Theoharis, The Root, "The Story of Rosa Parks’ Detroit Home Reveals Hard Truths About Her Life in the ‘Northern Promised Land That Wasn’t’," 7 Sep. 2017 HRC could've set up housekeeping in Fond du Lac for four months and it would've been wasted effort if her base voters had their franchise barbered in a dozen ways. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Let's Call 'Cultural Anxiety' What It Is," 9 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barber.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barber


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for barber


Middle English, from Anglo-French barbour, from barbe beard — more at barb

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Time Traveler for barber

Time Traveler

The first known use of barber was in the 14th century

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Statistics for barber

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Barber.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for barber


How to pronounce Barber (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of barber

: a person whose job is to cut men's hair


bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Kids Definition of barber

: a person whose business is cutting hair and shaving and trimming beards

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Comments on barber

What made you want to look up barber? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


good-natured easy friendliness

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